On the morning of March 10, 2014, I emerged from a restless sleep with a devastating hangover.
As soon as my eyes opened I seemed a familiar hurry-up of reproach and embarrassmentI had boozed too much, again.
I reached for my phone to try to piece together the hazy fragments of the nighttime before.
This particular morning was not unlike dozens of others, but it still came as a amaze.
Ive never really liked booze. I didnt consider myself “states parties ” girl. I wasnt all about the pre-games or tailgates. I didnt drink every day.
But still, I was blacking out more and more frequently. Almost every time I drank, in fact. And despite my best efforts at moderation, I couldnt used to help. After the first beverage, the buzz set in and instead of mentioning, thats enough, I wanted more.
I was merely 23 at the time, and up until that phase I wasnt willing to admit that I had a problem . strong>
Wasnt it normal to booze a lot in your early 20 s? And besides, what had I lost from my drinking? I wasnt homeless. I didnt fail out of school or “losing ones” task. I still had a relationship with their own families. I still had friendsthey boozes too!
But somehow, other people were able to move through “the worlds” without the same trail of devastation and disgrace that seemed to follow my drinking. And most of them could remember their nighttimes out.
On that morning, I was struck by grace and desperation when I realized that It didnt matter how much I had left to lose. I was done.
I knew that I could no longer booze safely and something had to change.
That was 1,000 days ago.
My life has get so much bigger since then. Im no longer here to only blend in and exist. I want to thrive.
This doesnt indicated that it been easy. Somedays I feel excruciatingly vulnerable because I have to actually pain emotions. I cant ignore unhealthy relationships or situations. And trust me, Im far from perfect.
But today, I can candidly say that I desire myself. And I am committed to progress , not perfection . strong>
If youre struggling, I want you to know that it gets so much better than you are able to even imagine. And that there is no right route to have a drinking or medication trouble. Everyones bottom is different and valid.
I was a nice girl, a good friend, a straight-A college student, and I likewise had a boozing difficulty. If you think you might have a problem dont feel bad, just go talk to a professional.
So to celebrate 1,000 days of sobriety, I guessed Id share some of what Ive learned over the past two and a half years.
1. Not drinking doesnt solve everything.
To my amaze, life did not magically fall into place once when I stopped boozing. In fact, for a little while, it get much worse. I had to start feeling the nervousness and fears that I had been trying to ignore for so long. And I had precisely zero coping mechanisms. I was altogether exposed.
Luckily, I was, and still am, surrounded by people who understand what Im going through and can offer me desire and counseling. Change is pain. And Ive had to let go of some relationships to build space for new, more supportive people in my life.
This is crucial. Find people who support you and respect what youre trying to do.
2. Sobriety isnt a health kick.
When I stopped boozing, I reckoned I had to fix everything all at once. I put undue pressure on myself to get healthy physically as well as emotionally. But heres the thing: getting sober isnt a juice purify. You do it for your survival: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Not to boast to your friends in yoga class.
Now that Ive been sober for a few years, I do want to take care of myself. I enjoy feeing most effective and working out because it stimulates me feel good. And I dont have that nagging voice in my head “re saying that” I need to look or feel a certain style to be valuable.
But this stuff comes with period. Just relax, you dont need to worry about changing everything all at once.
3. You can still have fun without drinking.
I have so much more fun now that Im sober. Severely. When I was drinking I would pretty much hang out with whoever was around and didnt brain me tagging along. I didnt have a very strong appreciation of selfI just wanted to be liked.
Now, I surround myself of the individuals who attain me feel good. I dont waste my day doing activities that I dont enjoy. And I can actually say no, when I dont want to do something. Thats a new one.
Getting sober gives you the opportunity to really get to know yourself and what you like. Trust me, this is behavior more fun than raging in a 4am blackout.
4. Perspective is everything.
Before I got sober, I ever had this terrible be thought that I had to do everything and be everyone all at once. Unless I was sick with a hangover, I didnt has been able to loosen or be patient.
But once I get sober, I realized that difficult emotions pass and that that I cant be everything to everybody. Things have a route of working out if you just commit it time.
5. I dont have to be perfect.
Just because I dont booze does not mean that Im some kind of saint.
I can still be selfish, restless, and apparently incapable of being on time. But the point is, Im aware of these issues, and am working on them.
Rather than kicking myself for has become a regular, imperfect human, I try to celebrate the fact that Im a work in progress.
6. Dating is hard.
When I was booze, I used to think that I was super outgoing when it came to guys. Since getting sober, the shy girl from secondary school and high school has made her timid return. Now, if Im attracted to you, you can pretty much guarantee that I will discount you at all costs.
Plus, I find it hard to meet people to date.
First of all, some guys are not into the fact that I dont drink. Ive been asked out on dates, only to be ditched once I told them Im sober. I likewise dont really know how to meet people. I feel kind of creepy reaching on drunk guys at barsand honestly, Im not all that attracted to these guys in the first place.
Maybe this is something Ill get the hang of in my next 1,000 days of sobriety.
7. Sometimes I merely dont want to go out.
This is the tough thing about being sober in your 20 s. The material thats fun for most people, can be really depleting for me.
Every once in a while I love to go out dancing until 4am. But when I do that I know that Im going to be a wreck for at the least two days. Sometimes, I would rather is necessary to stay in and watch Netflix so I can be productive and have fun the next day.
This could be sobriety or the fact that Im on the wrong side of my twenties.
8. Change is necessary for growth.
Ive never been good at transitions. I hate uncertainty and I get exceedingly anxious when Im venturing into the unknown.
But sobriety has taught me that when Im in pain, Im probably on the cusp of attaining some major, positive life changes.
Change is hard and its scary. But shedding people, chores, or habits that no longer work for you is so freeing and brings you closer to a more authentic version of yourself.
9. Its okay to be myself.
When I was booze, I had no idea who I was or what I craved. Today, my tolerance for bullshit has gone route down. When Im doing something that I know is wrong for me or when someone is treating me poorly, I cant ignore it.
Wishy washy sons? Nope. Negative self-talk? Shut it down.
I dont want to expend “peoples lives” detesting myself or wishing I was someone else. Now, I know myself, and I like who I am.
10. Wherever I run, there I am.
When I was drinking, I was trying to flee from my nervousnes and low self-esteem. Now, I have to confront these moods head on and accept myself for whoever I am at this very moment.
Outside situations may changerelationships, undertakings, apartmentsbut wherever I move, there I am. So I better take care of myself.
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